updated 8/11/2015 9:37:11 AM ET 2015-08-11T13:37:11

Show: HARDBALL
Date: August 10, 2015
Guest: Jonathan Allen, John Brabender, Katie Packer Gage, Yamiche
Alcindor, Michael Tomasky, Michelle Bernard, John Feehery


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Donald Trump, three strikes but not out.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Steve Kornacki, in for Chris Matthews with the latest
Trump controversy.

First, he accused Mexico of sending rapists across the border into the
United States. Then he went after Senator John McCain, saying he likes
people who weren`t captured. And this weekend, he attacked Fox News host
Megyn Kelly for what he deemed a nasty question at the debate about his
past comments on women.

Late on Friday, Trump had this to say about Kelly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She gets out and she starts
asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And you know, you could see
there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her --
wherever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Those comments were interpreted by many to be referring to
Kelly`s menstrual cycle. Trump strongly denied that. He said only a,
quote, "deviant" would think that`s what he meant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In discussing it later, I said blood was -- she was so angry that
blood was coming out of her eyes, blood was coming out of her -- and then I
didn`t even finish the answer because I wanted to get onto the next point.
But I was referring to -- or if I finished it, I was going to say ears or
nose because that`s a common statement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Now, Trump has continued attacking Kelly, tweeting out a link
today to an interview Kelly did with Howard Stern back in 2010 that
included sexual questions. Trump said, quote, "Oh, really? Check out
innocent Megyn Kelly`s discussion on Howard Stern`s show five years ago. I
am the innocent pure one."

And on "MORNING JOE" today, Trump said that he is the one who`s owed an
apology.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The fact is, she asked me a very inappropriate question. She
should really be apologizing to me, you want to know the truth. And other
candidates have said that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Trump`s attack on Megyn Kelly has been criticized by many of his
Republican opponents for the White House. This afternoon, Hillary Clinton
said the Republican Party is going to have to deal with Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. SEC. OF STATE, PRES. CANDIDATE: I`ve said it
was offensive. I was said it was outrageous. I stand by that. I think
more people should say the same. They should be going after him. The
Republican Party`s going to have to deal with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Hillary was also asked about Trump`s charge last week that she
showed up at his wedding because she had no choice. Trump said that he
donated to the Clinton Foundation and then said, Be at my wedding. Here`s
Hillary this afternoon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: It`s all entertainment! You know, I mean, I think he`s having
the time of his life, you know, being up on that stage, saying whatever he
wants to say, getting people excited both for and against him.

QUESTION: Are you seeing a side of him that you hadn`t seen before?

CLINTON: I didn`t know him that well. I mean, I knew him. I knew him.
And I happened to be planning to be in Florida, and I thought it would be
fun to go to his wedding because it`s always entertaining. Now that he`s
running for president, it`s a little more troubling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: I`m joined now by NBC`s Katy Tur. Jonathan Allen is chief
political correspondent with Vox News, and "Washington Post" opinion writer
Jonathan Capehart, an MSNBC contributor.

Well, Katy, let me start with you. I mean, in politics, what we`re used to
seeing is when a candidate says any of the things that Donald Trump has
said over the last month, it all -- sort of hell rains down upon them.
That candidate gets into a defensive crouch, starts apologizing, starts --
you know, sort of blushing a little bit.

We`re not seeing any of that from Donald Trump. Is that because Donald
Trump thinks he can talk his way out of this?

KATY TUR, NBC CORRESPONDENT: You know, Donald Trump`s not a politician,
and so far, he has talked his way out of it. After the McCain comments, he
quickly pivoted to giving out Lindsey Graham`s phone number, and suddenly,
everybody was talking about that. He`s been successful at refusing to
apologize and just barreling through all the controversy, and that`s what
he`s doing again right now.

It`ll be interesting to see if he`s going to be able to maintain his level
of support. I personally think he will. I think those that want to
support him are going to continue to support him. They believe that these
comments were fair game. He keeps saying that the media is out to get him,
that the media is attacking him, and they`re people who believe that that`s
true. So Megyn Kelly is just falling into that corner of just another
media personality who`s going after the poor innocent Donald Trump.

Those who don`t like him, on the other hand, find these comments
particularly offensive, and they`re the ones who are coming out and
screaming about this and getting very angry about it.

But Donald Trump is not a politician. Donald Trump has made a career out
of being outrageous, made a career out of touting himself as the best and
most important and smartest person in the room. If you look at his Web
site, he`s got nothing about policy issues, no issues page whatsoever.
Instead, it`s touting how he`s a great businessman. He went to the best
schools, Wharton, even that he was Emmy-nominated for his hosting of "The
Apprentice."

KORNACKI: Well, the fact that this is Fox News, this is a Fox News
personality that Trump is going after here, I think is a big part of this
story, as well. And today, Trump tweeted out that, quote, "Roger Ailes
just called. He`s a great guy and assures me that Trump will be treated
fairly on Fox News. His word is always good."

And meanwhile, Fox News host Steve Doocy tweeted that Trump will appear on
the network tomorrow to discuss his relationship with the channel.

Well, Jonathan Capehart, this dynamic is really interesting to me because
the one piece of conventional wisdom is you can`t run in the modern era for
the Republican nomination for president and be at war with Fox News. And
we looked at this a couple days ago and said Trump`s now at war with Fox
News, this isn`t going to last.

But now we find out he may be going back on the network. He may have had a
friendly phone call with Roger Ailes today. And oh, by the way, this whole
controversy with Megyn Kelly and the comments about blood -- that`s barely
been mentioned on Fox News the last few days.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, "WASHINGTON POST," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. So
it`s interesting he had that conversation with Roger Ailes because they
both need each other. I mean, Donald Trump is big with the Fox News -- big
with the Fox News audience, and if Donald Trump is going to be a viable
Republican candidate, he needs the Fox News Channel to be one of now the
many outlets to get his message out. But the folks who are voting in the
Republican primaries are the folks watching Fox.

What I find interesting here, Steve, is that we`ve heard a lot from Donald
Trump since Friday. We have heard nothing from Megyn Kelly. And so I`ll
be curious to see if she says anything tonight on her show about this
entire controversy at all, whether she has a personal response or if her
show addresses it in any way. And I`m -- you know, I have no idea what she
would say.

But it`s clear that when it comes to thick skin versus thin skin, like, you
have to have a thick skin if you`re running for president, and Donald
Trump, with his constant thrashing out against enemies, calling them losers
and zippo and low in the ratings and dumb and stupid -- he`s got incredibly
thin skin.

KORNACKI: Well, meanwhile, a new on-line survey conducted by NBC News and
SurveyMonkey in the wake of last week`s Republican debate shows Trump
maintaining a strong lead. He`s at 23 percent among Republican. That is
10 points higher than his closest competitor, who is now Ted Cruz in this
new survey. Trump also holds a strong lead in Reuters/Ipsos on-line
survey, also taken since the debate. And meanwhile, a new PPP poll from
Iowa also shows Trump leading the field among Republicans there.

So Jonathan, again, we`ve seen this movie before. We saw it after the John
McCain comments. Oh, this is going to be the end of him. All the
Republican now have an excuse to pile on Donald Trump. Watch those poll
numbers collapse.

Now, this is still a little bit early here, but we have three bits of
evidence in these polls that are coming out today that at least in the
immediate aftermath of this debate, Donald Trump did not go down at all.

JONATHAN ALLEN, VOX: Yes, I think what we`re seeing is that there`s a
solid base of support for him, and the people who support him are sort of
anti any establishment. So any time he gets in a fight with anybody who`s
perceived to be the establishment, whether it`s the media or another
candidate, it just reinforces their belief in him.

You know, and on the Megyn Kelly issue, I think it`ll be interesting to
watch her show, as Jonathan was saying, see what she says tonight. But if
Donald Trump were behaving this way in any other context toward her, we
could call that harassment. And I think it`s gotten to a point that`s
particularly ugly. And I can only say that I have tremendous respect for
her for not engaging in it.

CAPEHART: That`s a great point.

KORNACKI: Well, who`s -- here`s my question, though, with this whole Fox
News-Trump relationship. Who is more scared of who here?

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: Because typically, the Republican candidate would be terrified
of negative coverage on Fox, but Trump`s out there saying, Hey, look,
you`re Fox. You just shattered all the existing records out there for
audience for a debate. You just got a rating that nobody could believe.
They had 25 million people watching your debate, and you only got that
rating because of me.

ALLEN: Yes, I mean, the -- he talks about his ratings the way that some
people talk about their wives, or you know, talk -- I mean, it`s
interesting to watch. I mean, this is -- Jonathan was talking about thin
skin and thick skin. And this is a thin skin guy who`s obviously very
sensitive to his standing and has a pretty big ego, and to support that, he
talks about his ratings. And you know what? He did do it. He did the
ratings. And my guess is that Megyn Kelly`s show tonight`s going to be
highly rated, as well.

So Jonathan`s absolutely right. These two entities need each other. I
think it makes sense that they`ll come back toward each other. The
Republican Party should be very, very worried about that because if Fox
News is suddenly in the Trump camp, that`s problematic.

KORNACKI: Well, Trump`s swipe at Megyn Kelly drew strong criticism also
from his opponents in the Republican race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH (R-FL), FMR. GOV., PRES. CANDIDATE: Come on! Give me a break. I
mean, are we -- do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53 percent of all
voters?

What Donald Trump said is wrong! That is not how we win elections. And
worse yet, that is not how you bring people together to solve problems.

BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA GOV., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it`s
cowardly to share those kinds of demeaning, insulting comments.

CARLY FIORINA (R-CA), FMR. H-P CEO, PRES. CANDIDATE: They were completely
inappropriate and offensive comments, period.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: And Trump struck back at Fiorina, tweeting, "I just realized
that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than 10 minutes straight, you
develop a massive headache. She has zero chance."

Well, Fiorina, of course, did get a real boost from this debate, as well.
She was in that second tier kids` table debate, they called it, our own
poll showing that she did -- she was declared the winner by more
Republicans than anybody else.

But Katy Tur, let me ask you, this is something we have been seeing since
last month. We`ve seen Lindsey Graham out there. We`ve seen Marco Rubio
out there. We`ve seen Jeb Bush out there talking about how inappropriate
Trump`s comments are, how wrong the tone is, how self-destructive it is for
the Republican Party to have somebody out there saying these sorts of
things. It has not budged his number.

What is it going to take for one of these candidates to break through with
that message?

TUR: I don`t know. I honestly don`t know what it`s going to take. I
think that, again, if you like Trump, you`re going to continue to like him.
I think he`s appealing to that outsider base. But I don`t think that he`s
going to be able to maintain a lead in the polls and get the nomination
unless he starts to branch out.

In order to branch out, he`s going to need to start presenting some policy
issues. He`s going to need to show substance behind all the tough talk.
He`s going to talk -- he needs to talk about how that wall is going to be
paid for, how it will be built, his immigration stance, how he feels about
health care more than just we need to repeal "Obamacare."

But we have, you know, four, five, six months to go before the first
primaries and caucuses, and he`s got some time to do that. Right now, he`s
sucking all the air out of the room, and he`s continuing to get the
headlines with these outrageous statements and he`s continuing to lead in
the polls.

So I think it`s just one of those things where we`re going to have to wait
and see as it goes along. But he`s going to need to, at some point, start
making a broader appeal to the Republicans.

KORNACKI: Well, yes, Jonathan Capehart, that`s one of the things I`m
trying to figure out when I look at these polls. We show him 23, 25, 26
percent. He`s in first place. But he`s been in the low mid-20s, and I`m
trying to figure out if that means that the other 70, 75, 80 percent of the
party is hardening in its opposition to him.

Is he at 25 percent and in first place because there`s 16 other candidates
out there? But if this thing gets thinned down over the nest few months,
is he still going to be at 25 percent, or is there room for him to grow
this?

CAPEHART: There is room for him to grow this, and that`s assuming if
Senator Ted Cruz gets out of the race before Trump does, that assumes that
Ben Carson gets out of the race before Trump does, that assumes that Mike
Huckabee gets out of the race before Trump does.

There are people -- this is one of the reasons why Ted Cruz will not
criticize Donald Trump. Cruz is counting on Trump to get out of the race
sooner rather than later, but definitely before he does, and Cruz wants to
be the beneficiary of those Trump supporters.

So you know, the other thing about Donald Trump`s numbers and why his
numbers -- and what I find so concerning, that why he keeps rising in the
polls -- he`s not rising in the polls because of a position on, say, like a
fair tax proposal, or as Katy was pointing out, an alternative to
"Obamacare" or a, you know, strong stance on foreign policy.

Each time he has risen in the polls it`s been because he`s done some -- he
has tapped (ph) into, quote, "the anger of the electorate -- Mexicans
coming over and they`re rapists. John McCain isn`t a war hero because he
got captured.

And the thing I found most offensive about that debate was not the
interaction back and forth between Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump, it had to
do with the fact that he called out by name Rosie O`Donnell after a list of
really derogatory words.

So he trashes veterans. He trashes immigrants. He trashes women. And his
poll numbers still keep going up. He`s tapping into anger, but it`s a
hate-filled anger, and that`s a problem for the Republican Party and a
problem for the country.

KORNACKI: Yes, no, and the other -- the other piece of this, too, is you
look at when it`s other politicians, other candidates, other people with
official titles before their name who are all calling him out on this, I
think one thing that may animate his supporters is they hear all that
criticism, they see it`s coming from politicians, and saying they`re
supporting Trump is away of saying to all those politicians they don`t
like, you know, Go screw yourselves. That`s essentially the message
they`re able to send right now by saying they support Trump.

Anyway, thank you to Katy Tur, Jonathan Allen, Jonathan Capehart.

And coming up, Jeb Bush says Donald Trump is costing the Republican Party
women voters. Lindsey Graham says he`s inflicting fatal damage and is
urging the 2016 field to stand up to him. We will look at the damage
Donald Trump is doing to the GOP`s 2016 chances. That is next.

And later, can Donald Trump seriously -- be serious about running for
president when he doesn`t have a single substantive policy position on any
of the issues?

Plus, tensions are high on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. One year
after the shooting death of Michael Brown, the Missouri city erupts in
violence again.

The White House is at war with Chuck Schumer over the nuclear deal with
Iran. President Obama is pushing hard for that deal, but Schumer, the
incoming Senate Democratic leader -- he`s against it.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: 28,000 people showed up to see Bernie Sanders speak in Portland
last night. Nearly 20,000 of them packed an arena, thousands more were on
hand in on overflow space. No surprise the liberal icon has a strong
following in the deep blue state of Oregon, but still that number surpassed
any candidate so far this cycle.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Sanders was stopped as he began speaking in Seattle
when two protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement took to the
podium and disrupted his rally. The senator never gave his prepared
speech. Later that night, he went on to draw a crowd of 15,000 people at a
separate event in Seattle.

Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: Certainly, I think going third party`s a
death wish. And so I don`t think that`s any secret at all. But I don`t
see that happening. You know, you can`t win an election against Hillary
Clinton unless you`re running as a Republican. So Donald Trump gets that,
and so we do, too, and I think this is all going to work out just fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That was Republican National
Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who after Thursday`s debate, appeared
confident that Donald Trump will not torpedo the party`s chances in 2016
with a third party bid.

Many Republican candidates, however, are not as optimistic. Yesterday,
Rand Paul wrote an editorial in which he argued that Trump has no place in
the party. Quote, "It sounds too much like he is someone used to bullying
to get his way. What do you do to a bully? you stand up to him. If he`s
willing to possibly give the election to Hillary, he shouldn`t be on that
stage. That should be our first and uniting principle. We don`t need a
bully and we don`t need another president who think he is king."

And Senator Lindsey Graham told "The Washington Post" that the party needs
to intervene -- quote -- "It`s just like driving by a car wreck without
rendering aid. Donald Trump is an out-of-control car driving through a
crowd of Republicans, and somebody needs to get him out of the car. I just
don`t see a pathway forward for us in 2016 to win the White House if we
don`t decisively deal with this. Everything is being placed in jeopardy by
the antics of Mr. Trump, and we`re at a crossroads as a party."

I`m joined now by John Brabender, Republican strategist with the Santorum
campaign, as well as political consultant Katie Packer Gage. She`s the
former deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney back in 2012.

Well, John, let me start with you because you got a dog in this fight, so
to speak. You guys have to deal with this issue that all the other
candidates out there who are not named Donald Trump have to deal with. And
I wonder if you take any lessons when you look at Lindsey Graham. We just
had the quote from him there. Lindsey Graham had been one of the most
vociferous critics of Trump in the Republican field right now.

Trump is bragging and saying, look, he didn`t get any traction out of that.
He was kept out of the main debate last week. Rand Paul, the early polling
evidence we have seen since the debate shows Rand Paul is actually
dropping. He stood up to Donald Trump, he stood up to the guy he calls the
bully in that debate. He`s dropped, it appears, since the debate.

Is there a lesson in there for candidates about what happens when you go
after Donald Trump right now?

JOHN BRABENDER, SANTORUM CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Well, I think the bigger lesson
for Republicans is, all we`re doing is helping Hillary Clinton and
basically writing ads for them by our behavior.

And we need people who are willing to be adults in the room and say, quit
it, stop it right now. No more of this. And whether it`s the party, I
think it could also be the other candidates. I know a number of the
candidates. You had mentioned one, Rick Santorum -- and others have come
out and said, enough is enough. We have to stop this and get focused on
beating Hillary Clinton, instead of beating ourselves, and let`s call for
an end to the personal attacks.

It`s got to stop. It`s got to stop now.

KORNACKI: Wait. Which -- when you say it`s got to stop, which way has
that got to stop? Is it -- because it looked like, in that debate, Trump -
- on Thursday night, Trump took a step back. He had the chance to repeat
some of the stuff he had said about Jeb Bush. All he would say is, you
know what, actually, I have a lot of respect for Jeb Bush or something
along those lines.

He didn`t -- besides the Megyn Kelly incident, he wasn`t going after those
candidates. It seemed like he might be moving towards a truce with them.
Now he`s back to attacking them, they`re back to attacking him.

BRABENDER: Yes, but he`s also attacking a lot of other people.

And the problem is, he`s taking time away from other candidates who have
things to say. And I`m not just talking to Trump. I think the Chris
Christie-Rand Paul exchange was probably not real helpful, either. Look,
you have Katie on. Her candidate last time, Mitt Romney, and my candidate,
Rick Santorum, did 20 debates together, had massive differences. But they
were always done respectful.

In fact, when Rick Santorum`s daughter got very ill, one of the first calls
I got was from Katie asking, how is she? Where is the respect that we can
have for one another, because we`re the same party? And if we`re not going
to be, we are not going to win in 2016.

KORNACKI: Well, Katie, let me ask you how you think the party should be
handling this, because it`s interesting.

I think Dave Weigel in "The Washington Post" was looking at those comments
from Reince Priebus, looking at some of the other candidates, and saying
they are trying to kill him with kindness. The idea that Trump is this guy
-- he`s sort of all over the map when you look at it. One day, he`s saying
Jeb Bush couldn`t negotiate his way out of a paper bag.

The next day, he`s up there on the debate stage saying he`s a great guy.
So, the idea there being that if you say just a few nice things about
Trump, it can make all the difference in terms of what he fires back with.

KATIE PACKER GAGE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I mean, to borrow a line
from my former boss Mitt Romney, this ain`t bean bag.

Republican presidential politics is a pretty intense exercise. I don`t
think it`s Reince Priebus` job or the Republican Party`s job to say a
candidate can or cannot be involved in a debate. There -- Trump is a
legitimate candidate that has support from a corner, a very small corner of
the Republican Party, and he has a right to be there.

It`s the job of the other candidates to put a message forward that won`t
start to overshadow that. And that will happen. Trump is sort of capped
out at this 20 percent area. His support hasn`t grown since the debate.
You know, some of these other candidates are diminished, but I don`t think
because they tangled with Trump, but because some of the other candidates
stepped into the spotlight and have soaked up some of that spotlight.

You have seen Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina and others have sort of stepped
up and had more support and that`s come from somewhere. I don`t think
Trump has taken support from anybody else. I think his support right now
is a little bit stagnant, but there is a core of people that are going to
stick with him, no matter how obnoxious and bullying he is, but it`s not
enough to win the Republican nomination.

KORNACKI: That`s an interesting -- that`s an interesting point. And I`m
curious about that, because you say he hasn`t broken past 20, 25 percent.
Of course, none of the others have even gotten close to that. So, he`s
ahead of anybody else individually.

And I think some people look at those polls right now and they see Ted Cruz
there in second place or they see Ben Carson in third place and they would
say, look at some of the -- the sort of extreme rhetoric that Ted Cruz has
put out there or that Ben Carson has put out there. What is to say those
voters wouldn`t turn to Donald Trump if they didn`t have those options?

GAGE: I think we have seen that in some of the polling data. They asked
question, who would your second choice be? And the reality is the more
reasonable voters within the party are divided among 16, 15 candidates.

And so of course it`s largely diffuse. But at some point, this is going to
come down to a couple of candidates, and Donald Trump is not going to be
able to get a majority of Republican voters at the end. And so we`re
spending an awful lot of time talking about a guy that is not going to be
the Republican nominee for president.

And to John`s point, we`re missing opportunities to be talking about
Hillary Clinton and some real problems that she has that she should have to
confront.

KORNACKI: John, what`s your advice to your candidate? You`re watching
this guy completely take control of the debate. He`s out there saying the
things about Megyn Kelly and others. What`s your advice to the candidate
when he`s asked about Donald Trump?

BRABENDER: Well, yes, first of all, what -- any of the candidates, whether
it`s my client or anybody else, it`s, first of all, focus on your race.

I mean, a year ago -- or -- I`m sorry -- four years ago, the main
characters at this point high in the polls were Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain,
Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney ended up making it past Iowa
and farther, obviously, and became the nominee.

But two of those didn`t get to Iowa, and one didn`t get past Iowa. So,
it`s extremely fluid. The other thing I would say to everybody, stop
fearing Donald Trump and discuss with him on the issues. I hear nobody
debating about his ridiculous answer on health care last week. And we
should be engaging him more on issues and less on the sort of entertainment
sides.

KORNACKI: All right.

John Brabender, Katie Packer Gage, appreciate you both joining us.

GAGE: Thanks, Steve.

KORNACKI: And, up next, we`re going to go to Ferguson, Missouri, where
violence broke out on the anniversary of Michael Brown`s death.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Nerves are frayed in Ferguson and Saint Louis, Missouri, as protesters mark
the one-year anniversary of the killing of the unarmed black teenager
Michael Brown. Last night in Ferguson, police say two rival criminal
groups started firing at one another. And police ultimately shot and
wounded one man who remains hospitalize in critical condition.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON BELMAR, SAINT LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI, POLICE CHIEF: There is a small
group of people out there that are intent on making sure that we don`t have
peace that prevails. I don`t know how else to say that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Attorney General Loretta Lynch condemned the shootings,
tweeting: "Violence obscures any message of peaceful protest and places the
community, as well as the officers who seek to protect it, in harm`s way."

Earlier today, Moral Monday protesters breached police barriers in acts of
civil disobedience at a federal courthouse in Saint Louis. There were some
arrests. And a state of emergency has now been declared in Saint Louis
County.

Joining me now from Ferguson, Missouri, with the latest is "USA Today"
reporter Yamiche Alcindor.

So, Yamiche, let me start with, I remember last year, around this time, I
would be sitting in on this show with you looking ahead what we could
expect that night. And we always said, what is going to happen after
sundown? That was sort of the worrisome time.

What is the expectation for tonight when the sun goes down out there in
terms of what is going to happen?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, "USA TODAY": Well, people here are really on edge,
because people all know what you just said, that really it`s -- you don`t
have to worry about the daytime as much as you have to worry about the
nighttime here.

And I think people really are kind of expecting anything. Last night
really was the -- the protests were lulling. Police officers were kind of
getting ready to go home. I was kind of walking back to my car. And then,
out of nowhere, we heard a barrage of gunshots.

So, I think that people here are really kind of on edge and have no idea
what to expect. But I as a reporter think that we probably should be a
little bit cautious because we know that, when the sun comes down, that
really those people that Chief Belmar was talking about, those people that
are not there for peace, come out.

KORNACKI: Yes, you mentioned last night. We`re looking at some of the
footage there.

You also -- you were on the ground last night. You took some of footage
it. Let`s take a look. You took this just moments after the gunfire
erupted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of here! Move! Now!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get behind the cars, guys.

(SHOUTING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no protection out here. Get behind those cars.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, Yamiche, go. You are not leave -- getting
out -- going out on this street out here tonight. Baby, go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Yes, Yamiche, I just wonder if you could describe a little bit
more the scene and what you witnessed last night.

I mean, there`s -- there are protesters out there. Then there are people
that have nothing to do with the protests who come out. What is the
balance like between those two groups? What`s the interaction like? What
did you witness?

ALCINDOR: What I witnessed was really more protesters, more peaceful
people, but those people in small numbers that maybe are 10 to 15 people at
most against we will say maybe 100 to 200 people that are there peacefully,
those small number of people, that 15 people, once they armed and once they
have an agenda for violence, I saw people just start shooting.

So, I didn`t actually see the gunshots, I should say, but really what I
heard is really -- I really heard those gunshots. I mean, I really saw a
terrified scene. I had never seen police officers running behind their
vehicles, telling everyone to just duck down. Usually, police officers are
giving people advice and tell them, get out of the street or do whatever.

But in this case, really, everyone just was terrified. And at the last end
of that video, I really heard one of the protesters yelling at me, telling
me, you need to get out of the way, because, after awhile, I didn`t really
realize, but that the gunshots were just feet away from me.

So, really, what I saw was just almost pandemonium and chaos after those
gunshots were heard. And it was a long period of time. I would say -- it
felt like -- 50 gunshots feels like forever. It felt like I had ducked
down and I heard gunshots and I got back up, thinking, OK, well, let me see
go what I can report, and, lo and behold, more gunshots. So, it was
really, really terrifying last night.

KORNACKI: Yamiche Alcindor from "USA Today," thank you, and stay safe
tonight.

ALCINDOR: Thanks.

KORNACKI: And up next: Donald Trump is big on talk, but short on
specifics. Can he continue his streak as front-runner without offering up
any specific policy positions?

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RICHARD LUI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Richard Lui in the MSNBC newsroom.

Protesters are being arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, after briefly blocking
traffic on Interstate 70. Authorities declared a state of emergency
earlier as they prepare for more protests marking the one-year anniversary
of the killing of Michael Brown.

Colorado`s governor declaring an emergency, as millions of gallons of
contaminated water flowed into the Animas River from an abandoned mine.

And the death toll from the Legionnaires outbreak in New York has risen to
12 from 10 previously. So far, 113 cases have been reported -- now back to
HARDBALL.

KORNACKI: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

Donald Trump continues to sit at the top of the polls, but he`s starting to
feel the heat as he faces increasing scrutiny either wavering on or not
taking positions at all on important public policy matters.

"The New York Times" wrote last week -- quote -- "Mr. Trump`s positions
have an improvisational air, shifting in their specifics as he seems to
dream them up or reconsider them on the fly and out loud in free
associative speeches or shoot-from-the-hip interviews. Waffling, flip-
flopping and inconsistencies, all of which might hobble a conventional
candidate, have not dimmed Mr. Trump`s appeal to his Republican
supporters."

This morning on "The Today Show," Trump was asked about his evasiveness on
policy by but NBC`s Savannah Guthrie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TODAY SHOW")

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, CO-HOST, "THE TODAY SHOW": You have actually been
criticized for being more bluster than detailed. If you look on your Web
site -- and I did so this morning -- there aren`t any detailed specifics or
policy papers that you might see on another candidate`s Web site.

One expert I read said, you`re like everyone`s uncle George at
Thanksgiving, saying you have all the solutions to the problems, but no
specifics. Would you acknowledge you need to get...

(CROSSTALK)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know what? You know what?
I will tell you what, Savannah. I will tell you what, Savannah.

They had 24 million people watching. It was the largest in the history of
FOX and the largest in all of cable television history, 24 million people.
If I wasn`t on the show, they would have had two million people watching,
and they probably wouldn`t have had that many.

So, you know, the other candidates are very lucky because at least people
are watching what they`re saying, as opposed to nobody caring.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: "MORNING JOE"`s Mika Brzezinski also tried to nail Trump down on
specifics this morning, but to no avail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MORNING JOE")

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CO-HOST, "MORNING JOE": How would you approach the issue
of equal pay and also helping more women get access to capital -- capital,
which they struggle with?

TRUMP: OK, well, let me just tell you, this is the kind of a question I
should have been asked.

With me, Mika, I would be the best for women, the best for women`s health
issues.

BRZEZINSKI: The question is about equal pay. Republicans repeatedly voted
against it. How would you get equal pay passed and how would you enforce
it? And the question of access to capital for women?

TRUMP: Well, look, as far as questions like that, Mika, I`m not going to
do it on the show. I don`t want to discuss it in the show. I want to
discuss those questions at a debate and save them for a debate, but all I
can say on women`s issues and women`s health issues, there will be nobody
better than Donald Trump. But I`ll come out with policy on that and make
on the future. I just don`t want to discuss it now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: All right. Time now for the HARDBALL round table. Michael
Tomasky is a special correspondent with "The Daily Beast", Michelle Bernard
is president of the Bernard Center, and John Feehery is a Republican
strategist.

Well, John, let me start wit you, talking about your party.

So, that 20 percent to 25 percent that is supporting Trump in the polls, I
get the impression they are not too concerned with, not too hung up with
all of these policy issues that he`s not said much about right now. I
guess my question is, you look at the rest of the party, 70 percent, 75
percent of it, is the rest of the party different or can he appeal to them
as well without saying anything of substance?

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: That`s a really good question. I
think Donald Trump is a serious threat to the conservative movement because
you have all these conservatives that are flocking to him even though they
can`t stand most of the policy positions he`s taking.

Now, he`s being very inconsistent, but as (INAUDIBLE) once said,
inconsistency is a hobgoblin of little minds. And I think for Donald
Trump, you know, his mind is so big and so great and he`s so smart, as he
keeps telling us, that he goes well beyond policy. This is a cult of
personality, not a cult of policy.

KORNACKI: Well, that`s -- there some value to that, I think in politics
Michael Tomasky. Think of Richard Nixon back in 1968 with his plan to end
the Vietnam War. He would tell everybody he had the plan. He wouldn`t
tell them what the plan was or think of Eisenhower running at the end of
the Korean War, he had to play and, you know, he was going to go visit but
wouldn`t tell you what he was going to do, but people liked the idea of
Dwight Eisenhower ending the Korean career, the idea of Richard Nixon
ending the Vietnam war.

It seems there`s a lot of voters out there, they don`t care about the
specifics. They like the idea of Donald Trump being there to deal with
these problems.

MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: Trump is selling himself, Steve. He`s
not selling any particular set of policy ideas. And he`s saying when he is
asked about policy, the main thing I`ve heard him say is, we need a tough
person in there. We need a negotiator in there and get rings runaround us
by China and OPEC and other people. We need a negotiator and businessman
in there and that`s what is appealing to people.

Now, interesting little point here, he did write a policy book in 2011. I
actually read it. And it`s apparently being reissued.

He`s got policies in there. They are kind of from my point of view the
same old Republican policies -- you know, cut taxes, much lower tax rates,
only three tax brackets, raise the retirement age and so on and so on and
so on. He has them. Maybe he`s just forgotten them. He better go read
the book, whoever wrote it for him.

KORNACKI: He says more specifics are coming soon. We`ll keep an eye on
that.

Meanwhile, conservative commentator Amy Holmes said Trump`s appearance on
"MORNING JOE" this morning was a missed opportunity for him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMY HOLMES, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: I thought it was amazing this
morning after 72 hours of being pummeled for his remarks regarding women,
Megyn Kelly and others, that when he`s finally given the opportunity to
address women`s issues in a substantive policy-driven way, he said, eh,
I`ll talk about it later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Well, Michelle Bernard, I guess I`m not surprised by that
actually. I`m sitting there wondering, let`s take the issue of equal pay
for women. I`m getting the sense in the Republican primary, your position
on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or next step to combat pay equity
legislatively, I`m not sure that matters that much in the Republican
primary, am I wrong?

MICHELLE BERNARD, BERNARD CENTER: Well, I think -- I do think it`s
actually going to matter. I think what happened this morning -- I have to
take a step back, though, and reiterate what Amy Holmes said, which I
absolutely agree with, because if you think even more from a women`s
perspective or even from a father`s or husband`s perspective about what
Donald Trump said to Mika Brzezinski, when I heard him utter the words, "I
will be better for women than anybody else", all I could think was, how are
you going to be better for women when you call women who you find
unattractive "pigs" and "dogs" and "ugly"?

Are you going to be married to more attractive or more helpful to women if
you decide to get married again? I mean, exactly how on earth are you
going to be an attractive candidate for women?

It is going to matter in the Republican Party because Donald Trump has put
the Republican party in a position now where they are going to have to
explain the party`s stance on issues for example like Planned Parenthood.
On abortion, on the Violence Against Women Act, on the Lilly Ledbetter Act,
on equal pay for women.

We had in 2012, a Wisconsin state senator who said and -- I`m paraphrasing
here, Steve, but he literally said something in talking about Wisconsin`s
fair pay act that one could arguably say that money is more important to
men than it is in women. Well, thank you, Donald Trump, because comments
like that will come back to hunt the Republican Party in 2016 and every
single person who is running for their party`s nomination is going to have
to explain how this is the party of women.

KORNACKI: But let me -- in term of the immediate goal has -- that Trump
has right now, John, winning the that Republican nomination, getting
through those Republican primaries, here`s what I`m interested in, what is
the price that he is going to pay for the past positions he`s taken that
are at odds with consecutives, for in that debate saying that single-payer
worked well in Scotland and one other country for favoring I think a wind
fall tax on the wealthy in 1999, saying he was pro-choice before.

Are those things he can wash away by saying, hey, I don`t believe them or
is there a price to be paid for that?

FEEHERY: Well, Steve, that`s a great question and I think that`s the
question that the conservative movement that seems to care so much about
these issues has to ask itself. Do they prefer Donald Trump`s flamboyance,
and frankly his association towards Republican issues, or they care about,
you know, the actual issues themselves? And the conservative movement
itself has to rise up and say Donald Trump cannot be our guy because he
does not share positions.

KORNACKI: All right. The round table is sticking with us.

And up next, the White House takes on Chuck Schumer after the New York`s
Democratic senator announces he won`t support the Iran deal.

This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KO9RNACKI: A plurality of Americans say they are not sure whether Congress
should approve the Iran nuclear deal. Just 27 percent say that Congress
should vote in favor of the agreement, 32 percent say they should not
approve it, 41 percent aren`t sure.

Meanwhile, a majority of Americans, 61 percent of them, say they have no
trust in Iran to abide by the terms of the agreement. Just 6 percent say
they have a lot of trust in Iran to follow the rules.

Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: This was one of the most difficult
decisions that I had to make. I will support the motion of disapproval
against this agreement. I believe we should go back and try to get a
better deal. The deal has too many flaws to support and, therefore, I must
oppose it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: We are back.

That was New York Senator Chuck Schumer earlier today speaking for the
first time about his opposition to the Iran nuclear deem. Since coming out
against that deal, Schumer`s relationship with the White House and the
president has deteriorated.

The headline in "Politico", "Schumer, White House at war over Iran."

President Obama`s former chief strategist David Axelrod tweeting, "Facts
are facts and politics is politics. Schumer made a digs based on politics,
not fact."

Now, Schumer is the all but certain replacement to Harry Reid as the next
Democratic leader in the Senate. But on Friday, White House press
secretary suggested that could be in jeopardy as a result of this decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is a question for
Democratic senators and this is a vote that they will cast in early 2017,
but I certainly wouldn`t be surprised if there are individual members of
the Senate Democratic caucus that will consider the voting record of those
who say they would like to leave the caucus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Now, "Politico" also reported Schumer can`t believe the White
House leaked on Thursday night he was going to vote against the deal.
Schumer addressed that today as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHUMER: I talked to the White House Thursday evening. It somehow looked
out Thursday night. But I made it public. My intention was to make it
public Friday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KORNACKI: Back now with the round table, Michael, Michelle and John.

Michael, let me start with you. You can call me really, really cynical on
this one. But I always think, you know, you can be against something or
you can be really against something. I`m looking at Schumer`s play right
here. I`m seeing peer politics. His constituency is against this. He`s
now on the record opposing it.

But he waited a long time to come out and say it. And he`s doing it in a
sort of wishy-washy way. He`s not there saying this is Neville Chamberlain
all over. None of that overheated rhetoric here.

So, he`s not doing anything that will really sink this deal.

TOMASKY: I don`t think that`s particularly cynical, Steve. I think that`s
just politics. We know how politics works. A lot of times in a
legislative body, a legislator will cast a certain vote, will not feel, you
know, not absolutely crushed if the vote goes the other way, let`s just put
it that way.

But I do think that, you know, it`s an interesting question how many votes
Chuck Schumer is going to influence here. I have been talking to senators
and Senate aides over the last few days about this question. I have been
getting very different answers.

But this is one now you said call me cynical. I`ll say here, call me
Pollyannaish. I think this is one of those cases where life will be like
the movies and senators actually will, for the most part, vote their
conscience on this.

KORNACKI: So, Michelle, what about that backlash that we see -- you know,
the White House obviously is not happy that this is the position he`s
landed on. But Schumer is the right now has those votes to be the next
Democratic leader in the Senate. There is some grumbling on the Democratic
base that, you know, you can`t be a Democratic leader and oppose the White
House on something like this.

Would it take, though, Schumer actually killing this deal or being credited
with killing this deal, to seriously threaten his position as Democratic
leader?

BERNARD: I don`t know if it`s this vote in particular that could threaten
it. But the fact that they even raised it or even gave hint of a
possibility, to me says that there is a lot more going on in the cauldron
and anything is possible. Is he going to get elected as the next Senate
majority leader? Probably.

But I will be very interested, particularly going into a 2016 election with
Hillary Clinton at the top of the Democratic ticket if we don`t start to
see a lot more talk about Patty Murray or Elizabeth Warren as the real,
quote/unquote, "progressives" in the Senate that are for the most part
either supportive of the president`s policies or are the real progressives
in the party and people questioning whether or not it is time for a
Democratic woman to lead the Senate.

KORNACKI: You got to keep in mind, too, of course, that Chuck Schumer
recruited so many of those senators now who ran in 2006, 2008, even since
then, been very close to them. He`s developed a lot of relationships
there. Probably something he can fall back on a situation like this.

BERNARD: Absolutely.

KORNACKI: But, John Feehery, I`ve got to ask you, John Feehery, I have
been seeing the last couple of days, Ted Cruz saying nice things about
Chuck Schumer, Mike Huckabee saying nice things about Chuck Schumer. You
guys in the Republican sides got to be enjoying this one, because here`s
one where the Republicans are uniformly against this thing, and the
divisions are actually on the Democratic side.

FEEHERY: Well, it validates the Republican perspective that this is a bad
deal. I think that helps Republicans as they make their argument that this
is not a purely partisan ploy to counter the president. But they really
strongly disagree with this whole deal and I think that Chuck Schumer is
going to be fine in running, keep in mind Chuck Schumer is a long-timer,
and President Obama is a short-timer. For Josh to get himself involved in
that is kind of crazy.

Chuck Schumer raised a lot of money for a lot of other candidates. And
he`s the deal-maker. Ultimately, he will make a good minority leader. And
I want to emphasize a minority leader.

(LAUGHTER)

KORNACKI: Michael Tomasky, let me ask you, quickly, January, 2017, is
Chuck Schumer the Democratic leader in the Senate?

TOMASKY: As things stand now, I think so, yes.

BERNARD: Michelle Bernard, do you agree?

BERNARD: I actually do agree, but I think there`s going to be a little bit
of a fight to get there.

KORNACKI: All right. Michael Tomasky, Michelle Bernard, John Feehery, we
appreciate you all being with us.

We`ll be right back.

TOMASKY: Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KORNACKI: That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


END

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